NHS chiefs allay fears of flooding at new Tewkesbury hospital
CRITICS of building near floodplains say current flooding close to Tewkesbury Hospital is alarming.
Huge lakes have formed at the back of the hospital in the town centre, leaving most of its car park, off Howells Road, underwater.
And the flooding is lapping right up against the site next door where a new £10 million hospital is being built to replace the existing one.
Tewkesbury businessman and Twyning resident Mike Warner said building such a large new structure in an area known to flood did not make sense.
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He said it was bound to cause run-off problems elsewhere and limit access to the rear of the new hospital once it had been built.
He said: "This is the new Tewkesbury Hospital site, but where will people park?
"What a place to spend £10 million of taxpayers' money. The people behind this are incompetent."
But health bosses said they were confident flooding fears at the site could be allayed. They said the new hospital's main access would be via part of Barton Road that was not liable to flooding.
Sarah Hughes, deputy director of nursing for NHS Gloucestershire, said: "We have taken expert advice and agreed all the plans with the local planning authority and the Environment Agency to ensure that the new hospital is built outside the floodplain.
"We are confident that additional design solutions, such as remedial ground work, new drains and raised foundations will also mitigate known flood risks.
"Whenever the lower car park is at risk of flooding, appropriate operational measures will be taken and visitors, patients and staff will be given as much advance warning as possible.
"Access to the new hospital will remain a priority at all times in order to maintain hospital services, with the main entrances and essential parking provided outside the flood plain."
Meanwhile, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said it had crews patrolling flood-hit villages near Tewkesbury on foot and in boats to make sure residents were safe and able to return to some kind of normality.
Firefighters offered advice to home owners, carried out surveys of properties and prepared to rescue livestock that might be at risk.